The Pacific Shark Attack Report for 2014 is out and lists the official number of unprovoked shark attacks along the Pacific Coast of North America. Surfline released information generated from the Shark Research Committee, which reveals that all six “authenticated unprovoked shark attacks” on humans were recorded from California.
The attacks recorded were in the months of July (1), October (4), and December (1).
According to the report, those involved in the attacks were surfing (3), kayaking (2), and outrigger (1).
Species of sharks listed in the 2014 attacks are the great white shark and Carcharodon carcharias. They were either positively identified or highly suspected in each of the unprovoked attacks. The two victims that suffered physical injuries were both surfers.
Between 1900 and 1999, there were 108 authenticated unprovoked shark attacks on the Pacific Coast, according to the Shark Attacks of the Twentieth Century. Of the 108 attacks, the great white shark was blamed for 94 of those. That averaged to about one attack per year throughout the Twentieth Century. Since the Twenty-First Century began, 83 shark attacks along the Pacific Coast have occurred, including the six reported in 2014. That comes to twice that of the Twentieth Century’s average between the years of 1950 and 1999, with about two shark attacks per year.
Of the 83 attacks reported thus far in the Twenty-First Century, the great white shark again is blamed for the majority of attacks. They were either identified or highly suspect in 73 of the 83 attacks.
From 2000 to the present, 42 of 83 incidences in the shark attack report reveals they took place during a three month period: August (12), September (9), and October (21).
From 1900 to 2014, 191 authenticated unprovoked shark attacks have been reported on the Pacific Coast of North America. The great white has been positively identified or highly suspected in a total of 167 of the 191 cases reported by the Shark Research Committee. There were eight fatal shark attacks confirmed between 1900 and 1999, and five fatal attacks reported between 2000 and 2013. Thirteen fatal attacks “represent 7 [percent] of the 191 total cases,” according to the report.
Of the 83 shark attacks since 2000, victims represent the following: surfers (54), swimmers (6), kayakers (11), divers (4), paddle boarders (4), windsurfer (1), shore fishing (1), stand-up-paddling outrigger (1), and boogie boarder (1).
It’s noted in the report, as well, that marine mammals injured by sharks in 2014 went down since 2013. This is especially true in Santa Barbara County. It’s unknown if this means there’s a decrease in shark population or if fewer people reported incidents, but the committee will continue monitoring this activity.
More information on the shark attack report can be read on the Shark Research Committee’s website here.
[Photo Credit: Outdoor Channel]